Best lube

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georgefromvt   1 kW

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Best lube

Post by georgefromvt » Jul 09 2010 8:24pm

Recently bought a new bike; R Martin R 12a. Great bike, excellent quality and fun to ride. Now, how do I maintain it? What type of grease do I lube the chain with? It's only 2 weeks old and already the chain is black, greasy and gritty. Seems like grease attracts dirt. Does White Lightning Easy Lube really work as advertised? Any advice on bike maintenance? Thanks.

http://www.electricbikedistributor.com/ ... cycle.html

http://www.whitelightningco.com/products/index.htm

http://www.invodo.com/White-Lightning-C ... p/2PCKD1SG
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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by amberwolf » Jul 10 2010 3:17am

Chain lubrication is one of those topics you'll probably get a different answer from each person you ask. ;)

I've tried a lot of things over the years, including no lube at all, after having used engine cleaner to wash all the existing lube out of a chain, and here in Phoenix that actually seems to extend life as much or more than a number of "perfect" lube solutions. :lol: (because the flinty silicate dust we have sticks GREAT to any kind of lube, and then acts like sandpaper between the chain link parts).

I don't recommend running with no lube, really, but in an essentially completely dry climate where rust isn't an issue, it could work if the dust attracted by lube caused more problems than leaving the lube off. Your climate wouldn't work for that.

The black stuff on there may be just road tar and tire dust off the road surface, and it won't do harm to the chain unless it gets gummy. Wipe it off the chain and all sprockets/chainrings/jockeywheels periodically and it should be ok. If it feels gritty, then you might want to wipe it off more often, so it doesn't grind away at your drivetrain.

Read this:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html
for lots more info than you probably ever wanted. :)
(best first site to go to for bike maintenance info)

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by dogman dan » Jul 10 2010 6:01am

Yeah, like Amberwolf, in our climate running a clean dry chain can actually work. 10% humidity. I just tried the white lightning, and am liking it ok, but in the past I have also had good results with spray silicone for chain lube. You can clean out the old stuff with any kind of degreaser, including WD 40 that is then washed off with water. Then use the new lube on a clean dry chain. If you do use oil, I find it helpfull to oil it, then run the chain through a rag or towel for awhile, till the only oil left is inside the links.

It depends on your standards though, on my cheap bikes, I'll just oil the chain and let it sling off all over the bike. Cheap already, if it's ugly enough the bike becomes theft proof.

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liveforphysics   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by liveforphysics » Jul 10 2010 6:31am

+1 on dry chains.

Very much +1 for leaving o-ring or x-ring chains on motorcycles dry.
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colby   100 W

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Re: Best lube

Post by colby » Jul 10 2010 7:01am

liveforphysics wrote:+1 on dry chains.

Very much +1 for leaving o-ring or x-ring chains on motorcycles dry.

couldn't agree with more :)


colby

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Thud   100 MW

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Re: Best lube

Post by Thud » Jul 10 2010 7:03am

Here is my take on chain maintanace:
#1 To clean the chain- soak in kerosene & use a soft brush to get the road grit off.

#2 re-lube. :this is where you get al kinds of opinions. Myself, on a bicycle pedal chain I am liking the dry "chainwax" brand bike lube. seems to protect from corosion pretty well & runs quiet.

Since all my electric assists are chain powerd to the wheels I treat them a bit difrently. I clean them as above & when dry I use a comercial motocycle chain lube (pj1 or simular) & really soak it in that. These are a heaver grease formula suspended in volitile thinners that will let the lube get to where it needs to be & then thickens up as the thinner evaporates. All chain maintanace is done OFF OF THE VEHICLE. It makes a better job on the chain & keeps the bike cleaner. After the lube congeals I wipe off as mutch as possible in a rag befor re-installing the chain.

Does any one make an O-ring chain for bicycleing? any maintance on the O/X ring chains is purly cosmetic. The only way to destroy one of them pre-maturely is by power washing them after a mud run.
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liveforphysics   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by liveforphysics » Jul 10 2010 7:08am

Thud wrote:any maintance on the O/X ring chains is purly cosmetic. The only way to destroy one of them pre-maturely is by power washing them after a mud run.
Or cleaning them with a chain-brush, solvent, chain cleaner, spraying with a 1-shot lube, etc etc. My old roomate was a religious chain washer/luber on his CBR-600, I never touched my GSXR-1000 chain. When we had worn the sprockets badly enough to replace the chain/sprockets on his bike, cutting the chain apart showed ground up o-rings and water-rust-grit inside the wear pivot points inside each link we cut apart. Cutting my chain apart showed factory fresh looking clean grease!
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docnjoj   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by docnjoj » Jul 10 2010 8:18am

That Walmart White Lightning seems to work well on my trike but I have chain tubes to help keep the dirt off and I have fenders.
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Re: Best lube

Post by auraslip » Jul 10 2010 1:49pm

I bought a quart of chainsaw lube for $2. Enough to last for years, but it is messy as sin. It's dripped all over my bike and road grime has built up all over the it.

Perhaps I used way to much.
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Re: Best lube

Post by REdiculous » Jul 10 2010 3:23pm

I usually use a thin layer of petroleum jelly or spend the $20 and buy a new chain. :)

John in CR   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by John in CR » Jul 10 2010 4:35pm

I'm big on low maintenance, and I must have found the secret to chains...left side drive. This is my chain after 19 months and over 10k miles. I sprayed it with a silicone lubricant twice, and the last time was several months ago because company was coming. The first time was when I put it on because I made it up from 1 rusty chain and 1 clean one. I try to avoid riding in the rain, often unsuccessfully. This bike has been ridden on the beach numerous times, and even side swiped by an ocean wave, and the closest it's been to a rinse off or bath is road spray. I think the chain even looks a bit better than when I installed it, so the secret has to be chains belong on the left, and once a year with silicone lube. Ever hear of anyone replacing a left side chain? 8)
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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by amberwolf » Jul 10 2010 4:35pm

EDIT: yeah, my CB2 front chains are on the left side, but the reason for replacing them is because the motor ate them. :lol:



Unless the chain has actually worn enough to "stretch" a bit it is not necessary to replace it (see the link I posted above), but wiping it off each ride is a good idea whether you lube it or not.

Replacing chains on a schedule based on mileage can work, as long as you figure in the loading you put on it. For instance, I wear out chains way way faster than most would, because of the weight of the bikes and the cargo, even with less mileage. the grit we have doesn't help. (plus I use recycled chains to start with, in unknown states usually).

Any bike with the motor driving thru the bike drivetrain is going to wear them out faster, too, most likely, if you are running it faster/harder than you would when just pedalling. Like my CrazyBike2. :)

John in CR   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by John in CR » Jul 10 2010 5:05pm

I missed that he had a chain drive for power. In that case, the only thing I'd do differently is carry a chain and chain tool in my backpack. I love the low maintenance of electrics, which for me has be 0 other than brake maintenance, which is critical because bikes brakes require so much more maintenance than cars and moto's.

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The Journey Guy   1 kW

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Re: Best lube

Post by The Journey Guy » Jul 10 2010 5:27pm

I've been using a product called 'Liquid Bearings' for a couple of years now. I find that it lives up to the hype, and is great for my 'wet weather bike', which I use all Winter and on rainy days when I don't take 'The Falcon' out.

For people who like the application method of point and apply, this is probably the best out there. My wet weather bike has been through torrential downpours, winter slush mixed with the salt and cinder dirt that the road crews lay down, and I have not changed it yet. No rust, no corrosion, and no signs of binding or any of that. Your mileage may vary. 8)

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AussieJester   100 GW

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Re: Best lube

Post by AussieJester » Jul 10 2010 5:38pm

DAMN! i can't believe that chain is 19 months old John :shock:
Its in outstanding condition isn't it and that sprocket also
looks like its just been taken out of the packet!

Image

Using them on left hand side definitely is the trick to no/low
maintenance off chains :mrgreen:

I use graphite powder on the reduction drive #25 chain... haven't lubed the
manual pedal chain...as its new and never been used AND half of it is
on the left side of bike (i.e jackshaft to rear lefthand drive freewheel)
so will likely NEVER need lube!! LoL... :lol:

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spinningmagnets   100 GW

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Wax for chain lube?

Post by spinningmagnets » Jul 10 2010 5:40pm

I've never tried this, but...

Ive read on other bike forums that some bicycle messengers often carry their light-weight bikes into a building that they are delivering something to (many contracts require an ink signature to be legal, rather than an email authorization), and they also carry them into their upper-story apartment to prevent theft.

I'm not concerned with a tiny amount of grease smear on my work pants, but some bike messengers use wax on their chain. One benefit is preventing dirty smears from oily lube and dirt when carrying bike around.

Use a double boiler to prevent hot-spots. By that I mean use one pot to heat water in, which evens out the heat going into the wax-pot. You might get two used pots cheap from a thrift store. Put wax into the inner pot, and slowly raise heat until it just melts. Candles work because wax can burn, so don't get it so hot the wax vapors ignite, then you would have a giant candle on your stove. Keep a big lid or plate handy to smother it.

Take a chain that has been thoroughly cleaned, and set it into the warm fluid wax with a wire (coat-hangar from a dry-cleaners trash?). After a few minutes, pull the chain out and hang it up over the pot to allow the excess to drip back into the wax-pot. Once cooled off, any remaining excess wax coating will flake off during the first few turns.

Or so I'm told...

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Papa   1 kW

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Re: Best lube

Post by Papa » Jul 10 2010 6:37pm

I use Dri-Slide. Been using it for 20 years. It's a dry, penetrating, Moly lube. I typically use the new chain as-is for a few months, then clean it and spray on DS - wipe off the excess and go. It doesn't attract dirt or grease. It's not unusual for me to run 5 years on the same chain.
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georgefromvt   1 kW

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Re: Best lube

Post by georgefromvt » Jul 11 2010 7:20am

I did it. Removed the original grease and applied White Lightning. I hope I will not regret it. Every day I carry my bike up and down two flights of stairs; do not trust leaving my bike chained outside my apartment. Even though carrying my bike is a labor of love, doing extra laundry is not. Tired of all the black greasy smudges on my clothing. I will let you know how White lightning works.
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